Do I need an estate plan?

Most people do not realize that everyone needs an estate plan no matter how large or small their estate is. In fact, anyone who is 18 years old or older needs some type of estate plan.

Your “estate” includes all your belongings, such as your tangible personal property (including your pets), real estate, cars, bank accounts, life insurance policies, investments, and your business.

Estate planning addresses more than just distributing assets upon your death, it also includes planning if you lack capacity while you are living.

Simply stated, an estate plan ensures that your wishes and goals are carried out both upon your incapacity and your death. If you do not have an estate plan in place, the State of Missouri has a plan in place for you and you may not like it at all!

An estate plan, among other things, includes instructions for your medical care and financial affairs if you become incapacitated, names guardians for your minor children, provides for family members with special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits, provides for loved ones with addictions, those who are irresponsible with money, loved ones who are incapacitated, for those who have creditor issues, and for your pets.

When you pass, your loved ones could be going through a contested divorce or bankruptcy, they may lack capacity, there could be a legal judgment against them, etc. If their inheritance from you is not legally protected with a comprehensive estate plan, they could lose most if not all of their inheritance. Most people want their legacy to be protected to ensure that as much as possible passes to their loved ones and prevent it from going to their creditors and/or a soon-to-be ex-spouse.

In addition, a well-drafted estate plan can minimize taxes, avoid probate, and costly attorney fees, and court costs associated with probate.

Without an estate plan, whether by statute or court of law, someone other than you will determine who makes decisions for you and manages your assets if you are unable to and, likewise, will determine who gets your assets upon your passing. This process is very costly, time-consuming, and may not align with your wishes and goals. By failing to have an estate plan in place, you have lost control of what happens.

So much can go wrong if you do not have an estate plan in place. Since life is so uncertain and the future is unknown, the best time to plan is now. Knowing that you have a comprehensive estate plan in place reflecting your wishes and goals will give you and your family peace of mind.

Estate planning is one of the greatest gifts you can give not only to yourself but those that you love the most! Our motto is: “Your legacy, your way, get peace of mind today!”

Let us know if you have any questions or would like to schedule a FREE initial consultation to discuss estate planning. We are here to help you understand the complexities of estate planning in an easy and understandable way.

Call or text us anytime at (314) 626-4500 or send an email to us at We offer evening and weekend appointments to accommodate your work-life balance and look forward to hearing from you!